‘After Trek’ Reveals Klingon Details And Original Tardigrade Plan For ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

The fourth episode of After Trek kept things light with host Matt Mira welcoming Star Trek: Discovery’s notorious Klingon villains. Mary Chieffo (L’Rell) and Kenneth Mitchell (Kol) discussed episode five (“Choose Your Pain”) and what’s next for the Klingons. Executive producers Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg also made an appearance where they revealed details on the original idea for the Ripper the tardigrade and more.

Chieffo and Mitchell talk L’Rell, Kol and Klingon smoothies

Discussing “Choose Your Pain” Chieffo talked more about L’Rell’s capabilities including speaking other languages (like when she was torturing Lorca):

[L’Rell] is descended from spies. The Mo’Kai side of her family where her mother is from – they are known for being deceivers and weavers of lies. Like she says, language skills are highly important when you are interrogating…She is a good interrogator. She is infinitely full of surprises.

Chieffo also confirmed that it is what we think it is when it was said that L’Rell was “having her way with Ash Tyler.” 

Kenneth Mitchell revealed a bit about what is next for Kol by paraphrasing a line from a future episode which hints that Kol might be continuing to unite the Klingon houses against the Federation.

“He wants to win the war. He wants to protect his culture from the Federation. I have this line I can paraphrase in a subsequent episode where he says, ‘All I see is another attempt by humanity to rob us of our identity’. […] He’s going to do whatever it takes to protect the Klingon culture.”

The Klingon actors also discussed the difficult logistics of working with the Klingon makeup, including how there is a nutritionist on set who makes them smoothies because the can only consume things through straws. You can watch that discussion in the clip below.

Discovery is Mudd’s origin story

The showrunners talked about the introduction of the TOS character Harry Mudd (Rainn Wilson) in “Choose Your Pain.” Berg noted that the Klingon War brings out the best or worst in some people and that Mudd sees himself as a victim of the war. Aaron Harberts elaborated:

For us it was important to think about the origin of Harry Mudd. We have seen him in TOS and at that point he is already such a scoundrel. We were interested in exploring when did he begin that path. I really think that his monologue about how wartime has changed him and many others was an interesting piece of his history.

Showrunners talk about how Mudd became a scoundrel

Tardigrade was originally Stamets’ boss

Executive producers and show-runners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg talked more about PaleyFest revelation that the tardigrade was originally planned to be a bridge officer on the USS Discovery named “Ephraim.” The character was to be Lieutenant Stamets’ boss. There were scripts written with “full on scenes,” including Ephraim talking to Michael Burnham “about the meaning of life, spores, and the beauty of mushrooms.”

A special bridge station was designed which he “leaned over” and there was also a special “sash” uniform for him as well. Harberts said having a tardigrade as a character on the ship was “pretty trippy,” and “fantastic.” But, in the end it just wasn’t feasible due to the CGI costs involved.

You can watch a clip below from After Trek showing how scenes with the final version of the creature were done on set, including actors in greenscreen suits running around in its place.

Deep Mempa

One of the segment of the show dove into the Mempa Sector map that was shown during “Choose Your Pain,” which identified many of the known Star Trek locales on it including K-7, Acamar, Rura Penthe and Starbase 157. It’s nice to see After Trek do these easter egg moments and talk about other Star Trek shows.

After Trek dives into Mempa Sector map

Other bits from After Trek episode four

  • Other members of the House of Kor will also have warpaint like Kol.
  • Berg confirmed we will discover how Lt. Stamets and Dr. Culber met.
  • Stuart, Mudd’s pet, was originally called “Bugsy” and was renamed Stuart after the character on The Big Bang Theory.
  • Admiral Cornwell has a background in psychiatry and has a history with Lorca and she is keeping an eye on him.
  • Claire McConnell Who plays the Klingon leader Dennas will appear in episode six, “Lethe.”
  • There appears to be an increasing amount of tribbles on the After Trek set.

After Trek’s tribble population is increasing

“Lethe” Clip: Disco shirts and something wrong with Sarek

As they do every week, After Trek featured a clip from the upcoming episode of Star Trek: Discovery. The clip from episode 6 “Lethe” showed Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), Tilly (Mary Wiseman) and Lt. Tyler (Shazad Latif) meet and have a nice chat in the mess hall, at least until Burnham has some kind of painful vision about Sarek. Looks like that Katra is acting up again. The scene also reveals that the “Disco” shirts seen worn by some of the creatives on the show are actually worn on the ship.

Disco is canon

After Trek Ep. 3 Clips: Apparently Airiam isn’t a robot

CBS also released some belated clips from episode 3 of After Trek. In the first one you can see a segment where they ID various bridge officers including the mysterious Airiam who had been previously described as a robot, but is now being described as an “augmented alien.”  

They also released episode 3’s chat with Rekha Sharma (Commander Landry).

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Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusive in the US on CBS All Access with new episodes released Sundays at 8:30 pm ET. In Canada Star Trek: Discovery airs on the Space Channel at the same time. Discovery is available on Netflix outside the USA and Canada with new episodes made available Monday at 8 am BST.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.

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86 Comments on "‘After Trek’ Reveals Klingon Details And Original Tardigrade Plan For ‘Star Trek: Discovery’"

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Just as well about the tardigrade, frankly. I don’t have a problem with its inclusion on this show, but many others seem to, and making such a drastically non-humanoid species a regular member of the bridge crew might have really pushed things in terms of credibility. At least the resolution of its fate was a plot point very in keeping with the history of this franchise, which at this point in terms of tone Discovery could probably use more of.

Don’t know why I should feel sorry for Rekha Sharma, who’s both lovely and good at her job. Still, it was hard watching her smile her way through that interview when I know her early exit had to be a bitter disappointment; it certainly was for me.

Couldn’t agree more about Landry’s exit being a bitter disappointment. We barely knew her and she was a red shirt death as a result. Her character could have been so much more than what the writers chose to give her. The Disco shirts are too on the nose for me. Though I will acknowledge I think they were trying to do a play on military “unit” shirts but it doesn’t work for me. As for Admiral Creswell’s background in psychiatry I wonder if she has any connection to Lethe?

Well, she presumably new she was only being hired for two episodes.

Apparently the arrangement was more open-ended than that. She admitted to being very surprised at the character’s death when she read the script.

You have to wonder when you get such a high profile actress maybe its best to tell her BEFORE hand if she’s only going to be there a short time before she moves her entire life to a new country. Or maybe she meant before she started she read the script and found out then. I have a hard time believing she showed up on the set thinking she was in for 10+ episodes and found out then.

“They” don’t tell the actress. Her agent is told. The agent tells her. The back-and-forth between production/business folks and actors isn’t typically 1:1.

Rekha needs a better agent. Her “Landry” character was just getting warmed up. I’d like to think she’s in stasis, healing in Sickbay. It’s unfortunate she was written out. Her acting in “Battlestar Galactica” (2004 incarnation) was very good.

I don’t care who tells her, I was talking about why wouldn’t she just know from the beginning before she’s even offered the role? Especially one so high profile.

Maybe she will pop up in the Mirror episode.

Maybe she’s not dead but was faked to go on a different mission.

Any discussion of Voq or the actor credited with his portrayal, Javid Iqbal?

The more that the producers studiously avoid even mentioning this key player, the more painfully obvious it is that V=AT.

Face it guys, the tribble is out of the bag. I hope the writers don’t drag this particular plot line out too much longer.

I don’t think its a negative that we figured it out. Normally, there would be no mystery as the actor would be credited appropriately. That they tried to add some intrigue strikes me as a bit of fun of the producers part. They could have used wildly different names our hired a bit actor or whatever. They planted clues for us to figure out. No harm no foul. A fun bit of mystery. But intrepid Trek fans figured it out quickly!

And the fact is that we don’t know for certain that’s the case, though that’s where I’d put my money at this point. It’ll certainly be fun and intriguing seeing Tyler and the performance through the lens of that possibility anyway. And there’s still the issue of that medical exam. . .

I thinks it’s absolutely a terrible idea. A real shame if it turns out to be truthful. Let’s not take an opportunity to discuss legit topics like being a POW when the character can just be a Klignon posing as a human. Therefore anything and everything he says is a lie. Than again maybe I have talked this topic to death so I will let it go.

If that turns out to be the case it wouldn’t make the horror of being a POW any less truthful, but I get your point. I think it will all depend on how well it’s handled by the writers, and based on their track record I wouldn’t make any assumptions either way about success or failure. For me this show so far is a very, very mixed bag.

We don’t know where they’re going to go with this. Maybe the real Ash Tyler is still in Klingon prison. Let’s just wait and see.

That’s what I am doing. Hoping for the best. Just get frustrated when I see people act like it’s this wonderful idea when IMO it isn’t.

@UAB,

Voq will need access to Tyler’s memory in order to pass as Tyler. Using Klingon’s mind scanner to gain that info from the real Tyler might leave him brain dead.

Well that’s a rather horrifying thought, Ahmed. :(

He’d need Tyler’s memory if he was attending family dinner maybe. But he’d need only a certain amount of information to pass as him around people that dont know him.

One plot point could be that the real Ash is being tortured for information and provided “fake” info and someone gets suspicious.

@Scott Gammans,

“Face it guys, the tribble is out of the bag.”

Ha!

“I hope the writers don’t drag this particular plot line out too much longer.”

Yeah, it looks like Tyler will bond with Burnham. Hopefully it won’t take them the entire season to reveal his secret.

In a recent interview Latif mentioned that no character is safe on this show and I guess he was hinting about the fate of his character:

“You keep the audience on tenterhooks. You never know. You want to build these relationships with these characters, and it just makes it all the more heartbreaking when they go. I mean, yeah, I think you’re never safe.”

Well, I hope they don’t kill him (or find him out) TOO quickly. “Discovery” is full of eye candy, but Shazad Latif is particularly easy on the eyes.

It also explains the new Klingon make-up and why Voq was mumbling all the time. They wanted to hide that Shazad Latif plays Voq and Ash Tyler.

Maybe. They could just use different actors if it was a problem.

That does not explain why Voq looks like a Ferengi.

I look forward to Commander Landry’s reappearance in the Mirror Universe :-)

It would be awesome if Mirror Universe Landry had common sense and didn’t go stupid with the Tardigrade.

Me too.
I kind of half expect that!

For now, we probably have Mirror Stamets to wreak some havoc until then :)

I hope they are going to do a book of production art for Season One of Discovery – I can’t wait to see the designs for Ephraim the Tardigrade in uniform! And his bridge station!

I was thinking the same thing. I’m a sucker for handsome coffee table books on Trek production design (I even bought the one devoted to the 2009 film, whose PD I mostly hated). What about it, CBS?

Michael if you liked the book about the 2009 movie you might want to check out the big book they’re releasing in December (I think). The art of the Kelvin Films or a title similar to that.

I’m a little bummed to read about that ART OF KELVIN thing, as I’ve been in semi-regular contact with those publishers at Titan for several years now, going back to when INTERSTELLAR was starting preproduction. Each time I’ve queried them (and that’s over maybe half a dozen genre film coverage notions), they’ve been very enthusiastic — but then the book goes to somebody else. Nothing against Jeff Bond, who is a good writer and probably knows more about trekmusic than anyone else, but this kind of VFX/ art direction writing is wholly my bailywick, and Titan is aware of that huge (and in my opinion far superior) book proposal I made to Pocket back in 1992 for a TOS-only THE ART OF STAR TREK.

The Amazon page on this has got a piece of Vulcan city art from Alex Jaeger that is almost John Berkey-like, with smooth nautical curves over the buildings, which I find very cool. Will be interesting to see what other unused stuff is in it.

Kmart,

The depiction of Vulcan was actually one of the few things I liked about the 2009 film absent the blue sky. The immersive school concept (re-used to pretty good effect I thought on DSC) and the hanging buildings in particular were quite cool.

On Amazon, there is some kind of bts book about Discovery that looks like it’s coming out in November. Take a look for details. Might be more of a collector’s mag instead of a book but I might be wrong.

>There were scripts written with “full on scenes,” including Ephraim talking to Michael Burnham “about the meaning of life, spores, and the beauty of mushrooms.”

You thought zooming around the universe on magic mushroom spores was the most ridiculous thing you’d ever heard?! But wait, there’s MORE!

Yeah no, thanks to TPTB for dumping this idea.

No, I never thought it was the most ridiculous thing I’d ever heard. (How could that possibly be the case, in a world that contains Donald Trump?) It’s just very farfetched pseudoscience, like most of what’s been in Trek for the last fifty years.

MH, I remember thinking David Gerrold had it right about Trek’s ‘science’ often being more like alchemy (he was talking about TWOK’s Genesis Project, and I think his summation of KHAN was that it was about as accurate scientifically as the 1803 Farmer’s Almanac.) For me, the nadir still has to be SFS, where the magic beans stop working as soon as you remove Spock away from the planet (you can take the boy out of Genesis, but can you really take the Genesis out of the boy? REALLY?), which still sounds like the hokiest of the hokey to me.

If I recall the issue with the planet was it was unstable and thus going through all the life cycles of the planet quickly. So anything there when the Genesis wave occurred would be affected.

If you took a tree off the planet, would it keep growing at an exponential rate?

I agree its a goofy bit of science. But better than the Nexus. lol

Star Trek has always had hokey science ideas from TOS through Enterprise. Its how convincingly they make you believe its possible that really matters end of the day.

The “science” involved in that scene is more the science of psychology, as in a producer-cum-writer and an formerly-disaffected-actor-cum-director looking at each other and saying,”Holy shit, how do we write ourselves out of the corner we so eagerly painted ourselves into? Their solution was workable by Trek standards–I say that with all love and respect–but was inevitably a cheat, and you can sure see why Nick Meyer wanted nothing to do with it.

All they had to do was call it a Quantum Entanglement Drive, or something like that. Something far fetched but not absolutely silly. Traveling on mushroom spores is just silly to me. But I guess that’s just me.

I usually watch DSC and After Trek immediately on Sunday nights at home, but was on the go this week. Caught DSC last night, hoping to watch this ep of After Trek tonight.

Got to be honest. Not sure I found Mudd to be that interesting a character. The episode failed to engage me in a good way this week. I am actually thinking of stopping Netflix now and waitinf until next year, and just watch Discovery all in one go.
Not sure yet.

I honestly thought I was going to hate Mudd (All the TOS nostalgia is more eye rolling to me than anything) but I have to say I actually liked him. I wouldn’t want him on the show as a permanent character or anything but showing up 2-3 times a season would be fine for me. I know he’s in two this season.

But if you are not feeling the show in general maybe you have a good idea of waiting for it to end and binge it. I suspect a lot of people are planning to do just that, if they can wait that long.

I’m trying to, personally :^)
When do they release the next half of season one?

I miss Landry!

I’ll bet you 10 credits we see her in an upcoming mirror universe episode or three. Maybe mirror Landry will crossover and stay on our side! Now wouldn’t that be a twist!

Thats a great idea. I speculated that if Stamets’ switch universes that we might see OUR Lorca “open” to some of the ideas of evil Stamets. But keeping Landry would be interesting.

We got that sort of hint of something between Lorca and Landry. So having Mirror Landry cross over and immediately try to seduce him would be fun.

Ugh, who the hell are these people? Replacing Bryan Fuller with these not-ready-for-primetime lieutenants was clearly a mistake. Their non-Trek background isn’t balanced out by amazing ideas, memorable dialogue or a visionary take on anything that adds any sort of “Well, they changed this, -but- I like this interesting new things they are doing…” to the conversation.
I’m being b*tchy, but they inspire no confidence, and just sort of fell into this job by happenstance.

Not really. Kurtzman (whatever you might think of him) co-created the show with Fuller, and Harberts and Berg have worked with Fuller for years. That’s how they got their jobs, and the others were presumably hired at their request. Stop acting like everyone hates the show as much as you do.

If anything they have to lose more TNG types. We are still seeing technobabble (example – minutes long technobabble scene while awesome Discovery battle vs. Klingons over key lithium mine lasts seconds) and the some of the ships are TNG forgettable (why replace the iconic Klingon D7 battle cruisers with these forgettable ship-of-the-week designs that seem pulled from TNG?). Also they are suffering from hinting at epic while avoiding showing it (oh look Captain Pike is out there! And there is Space Station K-7!!! And these awesome battles with Constitution class starships, oh, but we can’t show that!! TOO EPIC!! Let’s instead show some dating!!). Glad they had Harry Mudd though. The show is awesome when TOS “Wagon Train to the Stars, they need to recommit as it seems they are heading back to their bland Trek TNG comfort zone as the show progresses.

Technobabble is Star Trek. They said long ago it would be big part of the show. It has nothing to do with TNG. Get over it.

Excuse me if I’m wrong, but weren’t the D-7 Battle Cruisers a Romulan design? Or have I got it backwards? In TOS both Klingons and Romulans used the D-7 design. Which, though beautiful, has that lo-o-ong neck that always looked to me to be too susceptible to a phaser strike. YMMV.

Marja,
Pretty sure the Roms gave the klingons the cloak and the klings gave the Roms the ship design as a quid pro quo. Part of the problem was that the design debuted with THE ENTERPRISE INCIDENT, and I think there is dialog addressing this in it.

I’ve been waiting to see one of those necks get snapped off in battle since I was 12 years old, and yet the closest I ever got was reading about ship-splitting maneuvers in that awesome THE FINAL REFLECTION novel by John Ford.

@kmart — which again is canon initiated out of budgetary constraints, and likely signed off on by Freddy Frieberger, the least qualified person to ever hold the reigns of the Trek stagecoach. I’d just as soon, ditch it.

Your wish to see one of the D7 necks snapped off, sounds an awfully lot like Lin’s desire to see the Enterprise neck slit, and nacelles severed, which he gave us in BEYOND.

Everybody has a piece of starship they want ripped up … back on TUC, Scott Farrar and Bill George were figuring out how best to mess up the Enterprise, and the latter, alongtime fan, suggested putting something through the slimmest part of the dish … hence the torpedo that blows through the dish from below like a cannonball. Re: the D7, that may have been in the works before FF even came on. They knew there were klingon shows to do, and AMT probably was gung-ho about it. Memory Alpha says that the model was designed for AMT by Jeffries in 1967 — yeah 67! — so that suggests maybe there was going to be a model even if there wasn’t a 3rd season. I don’t see any reason to ignore the Rom/Kling connection … in fact, I thought that association would be something they could have followed up on in the features. I wrote an outline for a fourth TREK film after emerging semi-enraged from SFS, and I had a klings playing Roms/Feds off against each other thing while supposedly supporting roms, and the whole thing hinged on Kirk in the stolen BoP (aided by some of his crew decked out as Klings) exposing the plot while Fed, Rom and KLing fleets are all facing off … at which point the Rom Fleet wheels on the Klings and offers to ‘escort’ them back to Kling space while offering Kirk & co free access through their space in their Private… Read more »

@Ian,

Agreed.

Between dreadful expositions and clumpy dialogues, the writing is average at best for a streaming show. Isaacs and Jones are giving it their best with their materials but the terrible writing is showing clearly with the rest of the cast.

Can’t beat the shitty and unbalanced writing on orville though. The show still doesn’t know what it wants to be and the humor is so awkward that it is cringe worthy.

The humor is cheap and riddled with current pop culture gags. The Friends joke? Still makes me cringe.

Could be worse. Could be Orville.

And I’ll just add, Ian, that there’s nothing wrong with Discovery not being your cup of tea. If you prefer more hard-edged SF (though if the show follows the novels the science is about to get a lot more fanciful) you can look forward to the third season of The Expanse in 2018. (I certainly am.) And if your taste runs more to middling-TNG (I’m being very generous here) with dick jokes, you might want to give The Orville a shot. Choices!

I prefer Star Trek. These people don’t get it, and they were hired to be lieutenants, not showrunners. The show was not commissioned based on their visionary ideas, it was down to Fuller’s and Kurtzman’s, and only one of them has a good track record at that.

The show is bogged down in stories about an uncompelling war (complete with vicious and flashy but deathly dull Klingons), a CGI tardigrade and mushrooms. The dialogue isn’t stilted anymore, but it’s also not good either, and the show has demonstrated no heart. I want to feel something other than admiration for the budget they are playing with and occasional bouts of empathy for Burnham, Saru, Tilly and I guess the CGI tardigrade.

I want to like the show because I like Star Trek. I don’t care what other space sci-fi is on that’s not Star Trek, and The Orville is an offensive rip-off. I have no problem with Star Trek evolving and being grittier, but I don’t see a coherent vision being laid out, what we are getting is sloppy style over substance, the characters are all over the place and darker and meaner than even DS9 dared to debut.

These people lucked into the job of running Star Trek without originally being hired to run Star Trek. They are making a glitzy generic show that isn’t embracing what made the TV franchise compelling.

I get that you feel that way, and even share a few of your criticisms. It is what it is, though. Ultimately you’ll keep watching or move on to other things, as I had to after seeing Trek 2009 and realizing that my beloved franchise had been given over to people who had no understanding of it. Or, it’s just possible that Discovery will evolve into something you can more readily embrace. Remember, though: either way, at the end of the day it’s just a TV show.

MH, I think that when you’re riffing on a notion that treads (even ever so lightly) on a classic, it can feel like a doubly missed opportunity. I wonder if the lead character’s predicament is predicated at least in part on LORD JIM, where you’ve got somebody spending his life railing about and/or trying to atone for a moment’s cowardice. In this case, it might be considered trying to atone for a moment’s bad judgement, but dramatically it works in a similar fashion — and in fact the LORD JIM idea is one I thought could apply to TREK with Harriman, since he’d have gone through life known mainly as The Guy Who Got Kirk Killed (apparently.) I’ve never seen the film of LORD JIM, but I have read that was kind of ruined out of the gate because O’Toole’s character doesn’t actually have that moment up front, rendering everything else that happens an out of context mess. The director is a guy who has made 3 films on my top 50 all-time (only Kubrick and Welles could make a similar claim — even Coppola only has two on that list, which I probably need to dig out and revise soon), but I’ve still steered clear because I kind of want to think better of the guy (Richard Brooks, who nearly always wrote as well as directed his films.) I bring the film up as an example of, if you are going to tackle something different for trek, go balls-deep,… Read more »

Kmart,

The Lord Jim comparison is a fascinating one I hadn’t thought of, thanks. (Obviously we have a shared love of Conrad. If you haven’t already done so you might want to check out Robert Silverberg’s novel DOWNWARD TO THE EARTH, which features the Kurtz character, and his novella “The Secret Sharer,” a virtual re-write of Conrad’s original in an exotic SF setting.) I personally found the Lorca revelation to be interesting but underdeveloped for such a turning point in our perception of the character. This may be thought of as Discovery‘s Original Sin, since it equally applies to Burnham’s mutiny, an event which not only that character’s fate but the entire series itself hinges upon. I’m still liking the show more than I’m disliking it, but am often finding these very important moments as coming off half-baked. Of course, part of the problem may be that this is Trek’s first entirely serialized drama. On his series TREME, which I dearly loved, David Simon noted that you really couldn’t look at the episodes in isolation but had to judge the success of the show on a seasonal basis, so I probably will reserve my final word on DSC until next year after the final show has aired.

It certainly is.

If you really feel it’s that bad you can drop it right now.

Thank you for your permission. I’ll keep watching and voicing my thoughts with the community, as I have for decades.

For some reasons ‘Discovery’s writers seem to have an affinity for episodes about time-sensitive rescue missions.

In episode four it’s saving the colony in six hours, episode five about saving Lorca before he reveals ‘Discovery’s secrets. The sneak peek for episode 6 showing Sarek in distress; we could be in for another rescue mission.

and…?

Maybe Sarek is getting the 7-yr itch while Amanda hits menopause? That would be a time-sensitive emission …

Surprised they didn’t use Mandel’s Star Trek star charts, which Star Trek Online uses. And also made a brief cameo in the special features with the Star Trek bonus movie set.

Why would they actually use anything that’s consistent in any real capacity, with Star Trek of old? They’ve no respect for it.

Jayne Brook plays the Admiral. What a shitty actress. Gawd, she really stinks up the place! Dump her ass out the door!

Is being an unapologetic ass some kind of contractual obligation for you? What are you, five?

Harry, are there any actresses you admire?

Sure, Marja, Cate Blanchett for one. Now that she’s done Thor Ragnarok, maybe she might be willing to do a Trek movie.

Like ST admirals had anything more than several lines to speak, if we don’t count TNG admiral Nechayev…

She’s fine. I remember some very good work she did on Chicago Hope.
It’s not like we’ve had many memorable Admiral parts in the past. Cartwright, Nechayev, Ross (more by virtue of being on a lot rather than truly interesting), Pressman… I guess maybe Hayes and Paris? It’s slim pickings, and there have been a sh*t ton of Admirals on these shows.

Why is Discovery so expensive? The sets don’t look very expensive, there are only 10 episodes, the cgi isn’t very good, so what’s the deal? I like the show but all other Trek shows were cheaper and we got more episodes with a lot more time to get to know the crew.

A) There are 15 episodes and not 10;
B) … Gotta pay all those (associate/executive/alternate/extraterrestrial) producers! :P

So. Many. EPs.
I think what hurt DS9’s finale was the need to bring back its huge roster of recurring guest stars for the final arc and the finale especially. That was more important than the production value shining as brightly as usual, but man, did the show take a bit of a hit, visually. The Cardassian war room was claustrophobic, Cardassia Prime’s streets were very tiny sets with no scope, the climactic battle between Sisko and Dukat happens in the same dinky little cave set we’d seen a hundred times before, and the big space battle was supplemented by very recognizable stock footage. If DS9 ever got to go Blu Ray, I would have hoped that at least the stock issue and Worf’s flashbacks could get augmented.

Well, the first shot was filmed in Jordan…
They are renting Toronto’s biggest soundstages, they had to build three different ship sets in the span of as many episodes, the Klingon hall was huge. The opticals for the first two episodes were clearly very very expensive and the number of VFX shots so far exceeds anything the other shows had to do in their pilots and all but the most expensive event episodes.
Enterprise’s pilot cost about $15 million, DS9’s about $12 million. That translates to about $21 million now. Star Trek: Voyager’s pilot cost about $25 million in 1995 and that’s about $40 million in today’s dollars. The shows all cost something like $3 million an episode back then too. They weren’t cheap by any stretch of the word, and they did more bottle episodes and offscreen action precisely because they still didn’t have enough money to do all that they wanted.
I certainly don’t think doing bottle episodes is a problem, it forces the writers to flex more muscles.

I’ll beat MH to the punch and offer that if this show can deliver something at DUET level, nobody’ll care that the show was done for 3 mil instead of 8, they’ll just be happy to get a quality hour (or 38min) of drama.

There’s a scene in Harlan Ellison’s original ‘City’ draft that features Kirk and Spock having an emotional debate against a backdrop of total darkness. The script notes the reason for doing this was to heighten the drama by having no distractions. Beautiful sets are fine, and for my money (and CBS’) I think Discovery has them, but they’re never as important as what’s going on in front of them.

Absolutely. I, Borg, Duet, The Offspring, Data’s Day, In the Pale Moonlight, Meld, Someone to Watch Over Me, Counterpoint, Similitude… these are fantastic episodes made with cost-savings in mind, and they’re fiercely creative, character-forward stories. You never even think about the budget.

Star Trek discovery
10 years back in time
before Capt. Kirk Dr. McCoy
and Mr. Spock will the cheron
ever show up in this timeline

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